“The modernization of our economy has to do with new industries and innovation,” Premier David Makhura says the Gauteng Provincial government aims on strengthening partnerships with key sectors, VUT SGSTP being one of them.
Selina Rapulane & Anne Naidu
The VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (SGSTP) was abuzz of activity on 18 May 2017 in great anticipation of the visit of the Honourable Premiere of Gauteng; Mr David Makhura. He was accompanied by a high profile delegation that included the MEC for Economic Development: Mr Lebohang Maile and MEC for Finance; Ms Barbra Greece.
After a round trip to the Vaal, the Premier visited industry such as Arcelor Mittal South Africa, Div Foods; the Manufacturing Circle, DCD Plastics, and finally the VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park in Sebokeng. After a full day of travelling around the area, the last leg of his visit ended with a presentation and tour of the SGSTP as it was centred on innovation and entrepreneurship. Since taking up office in 2014, the Gauteng Provincial Government made it clear that in order to achieve their plan for Transformation, Modernization and Reindustrialization of the Gauteng City Region, they will have to strengthen partnerships with key sectors and in particular, institutions of higher education as they are the key in producing the right kind of skills needed to grow an inclusive economy.
On this backdrop, the visit formed part of Ntirhisano, which is the Premier’s community outreach programme. The event began with a luncheon meet and greet session of the Premier, his delegation and VUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Irene Moutlana and Vice-Chancellor elect Professor Gordon Zide. Professor Moutlana delivered the official welcoming address, followed by a presentation of the SGSTP, the importance of its existence and its future expansion plans by Dr Joe; Executive Director of the Science Park. The briefing by Dr Biki Pitso; Project Manager explained the background of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Premier elaborated on the purpose of his visit and stressed the important role of the SGSTP in facilitating and building the economy in this part of the Gauteng Province.
In his speech he mentioned that “The modernization of our economy has to do with new industries and innovation. So a university and The Science and Technology Park is looked upon as the driver. Modernization won’t happen unless it is driven by research and development”, he said. He further explained that the SGSTP is located in a region that requires industrialization. The reindustrialization of Sedibeng and the Vaal cannot happen unless VUT positions itself at the heart of reindustrialization.
In regard to Transformation, he said that VUT is the key imperative driving force and that’s why it needs new players like entrepreneurs and new business leaders to sustain and further develop the community, economy and the country.
Concluding the day’s function, was the presentation of gifts to the delegates from Murray &Robert by Mrs Anne Naidu: Communications Practitioner. Professor G N Zide delivered the vote of thanks. The Vaal University of Technology wishes to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Premier for his kind generosity in that he has committed to ensuring that the future plans and expansion of the operations of the SGSTP are materialized.
Vaal University of Technology is the key driving force in ensuring transformation takes place: VUT SGSTP hosted Gauteng Premier David Makhura on his round trip to the Vaal.